Recover Girl

Author Jason Smith is not a writer who languished in obscurity for years as he tried to make sense of his journey through addiction to recovery. The Northern California based former teacher only started writing a mere year ago because he was on an ankle bracelet due to some legal trouble (more about that in a sec) and was trapped at home. He loaded some of his stories onto Medium (a fabulous site but one where most posts get lost and ignored) and the rest is history. People started reading them. Lots of people. A book deal followed and that book, The Bitter Taste of Dying, is now being hailed as one that leaves the reader "gasping for breath." While Smith's writing is undeniably gripping, he also had a lot of rich history to pull from: he went from trying pills in high school to losing his virginity to the hottest girl in his class that very day. And you could say he spent the next chunk of his life chasing that high, from continent to continent, job to job, high to high. In this episode (where we're joined by Danielle Stewart!), we discuss attractive sponsors, sex inventories and doing fentanyl in space, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_Jason_Smith.ad.mp3
Category:Addiction -- posted at: 9:07am PDT

Best-selling author and therapist Dr. Allen Berger is a wonder to behold. Not only is he nearly 45 years sober (though he looks no older than 45) and one of the more articulate dudes out there but he's written many of the classic books about recovery, including 12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery, 12 Smart Things to Do When Booze and Drugs Are Gone and 12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends. He also has made a series of audio recordings that analyze Bill Wilson's 1956 letter on emotional sobriety and videos while maintaining a very full private practice. But a million times more impressive than any of this is the guy's manner and way of articulating the nuances of addiction and recovery while opening up about the 60+ truances he had in school, shooting barbituates while in the navy and how losing his dad at an early age still causes him to choke up today. In this episode, we discuss the way he practices therapy (in particular his use of the shuttle technique), why procrastination is always about perfectionism and the ways he still doesn't support himself during his fourth decade of sobriety, among many other topics.

Direct download: _APP_Allen_Berger.mp3
Category:Addiction -- posted at: 9:18am PDT

Mortified creator Dave Nadelberg is the guy behind—yes—Mortified, a "cultural phenomenon" (per Newsweek) that consists of a live show in cities around the world (from Austin, LA and New York to Amsterdam, London and Guadalajara), two books, a TV show, a documentary and now a podcast. The Mortified concept, in short, is this: people take diary entries, letters and any other ephemera from their childhoods and read them on a stage (the books featured collections of some of them, the TV show had Nadelberg going through personal artifacts with celebrities, the documentary documented the entire project and the podcast consists of recordings of live shows accompanied by interviews with the performers). As the guy who created a project that gives adults a chance to connect with their old selves while taking the shame out of previous, potentially ludicrous, thoughts and feelings, Nadelberg is a thoughtful soul. Though he's not an addict, he's worked through his own share of issues over the years, all of which we get into here. In this episode, we discuss male sluttiness, why therapy doesn't need to take place in an office with a shrink and how sex is psychological, among other topics.

Direct download: APP_Nadelberg.ad.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55am PDT

Vice writer and editor Mitchell Sunderland is what they mean when they talk about wunderkinds and also what they mean when they talk about human miracles. Okay, so the wunderkind fact: he's 23 and already the Managing Editor of Broadly, Vice's forthcoming women's interest channel. Now for the second part: he grew up in Florida which, according to him, is traumatic in itself. He comes from a family where his mother would fall asleep at the wheel while on Ambien. She also breastfed him until he was five. Then, last year, he discovered that the man he'd always thought was his father was not. So there's been some stuff to work through.

It wasn't all disastrous though; Sunderland's brilliance, humor and charm saw him through and he became the party throwing king of his high school, charging the jocks who'd once been mean to him $10 a head as an entrance fee. But things came to a head after he spent his junior year of college in England and Sunderland, inspired by previous podcast guest Alexis Neiers, ended up getting sober the day he was hired at Vice. In this episode, we talk about the ridiculousness of trying to get sober in England, why New York parties aren't as decadent as Florida ones and thinking people intervening on you are calling because they want to have a threesome, among other topics.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen to it on Soundcloud or Stitcher. Find Mitchell Sunderland on TwitterTumblrInstagram and Vice. Mitchell Sunderland photo by Matthew Leifheight.

Direct download: APP_Mitchell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:31am PDT

Reel Recovery Film Festival creator Leonard Buschel has become an advocate for recovery in ways that no one else has—by creating Reel Recovery, which screens movies relating to addiction in Los Angeles, Manhattan, San Francisco and Ft. Lauderdale, among other cities. Every festival features live Q&A's with either well-known recovery advocates or people involved with the films; previous participants include Ben Stiller (for the screening of Permanent Midnight), Ed Begley, Jr. and Duran Duran's John Taylor. In his 20+ years of sobriety, Buschel has also created Writers in Treatment, which helps anyone who works with the written word into rehab, and hosts the annual Experience, Strength and Hope Awards. In this episode, we talke about forgoing the Rockettes in order to smoke pot, so-called casual crack smoking and how finding a treatment center with an 800 number can help launch you into recovery, among other topics.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen to it on Soundcloud or Stitcher. Find Leonard Buschel on Facebook and Twitter.

Direct download: APP_Leonard.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:25am PDT

Writer Amanda Fletcher is more than just a sober warrior. A breast cancer survivor who also manages to remain cheerful about having broken her neck and worn a cervical halo for four months, Fletcher is a brilliant and hilarious writer who has also been a crucial part of the AfterParty editorial team. In addition to being a 2012 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, Fletcher is a breathwork practitioner who teaches writing in the recovery community, was a flash fiction finalist for the Orlando Prize and has performed for Tongue and Groove, the Dirty Laundry Lit and Roar Shack reading series. Sorry, not done here. Her writing has appeared in The Writer’s Tribe Review and The Orange County Register as well as on this very site. And hey—as part of a new format we’re trying out for the podcast, our last guest, fellow AfterParty writer Tracy Chabala, joined us for a three-way conversation. In this episode, we discuss being hung over from nights of over sharing, getting hooked on meth and whether or not we all get what we deserve, among many other topics.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen to it on Soundcloud or Stitcher. Find Amanda Fletcher on Facebook and Twitter

Direct download: APP_Amanda_060215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:45pm PDT

AfterParty contributor Tracy Chabala not only writes a good, um, 85% of the stories that are now appearing on the site but her work has also appeared in The LA Times, The LA Weekly and Salon. She holds a Masters in Professional Writing from USC and is working on a memoir about her journey through the sausage fest of fine dining kitchens (based on her history as a pastry chef). Among the topics she's covered on the site are escaping from a scary rehab, life in a mental ward and being 13th-stepped. If anyone is a testament to surviving most anything and then thriving, it is this girl. And—surprise!—this episode featured a special guest: Danielle Stewart, who appeared on the podcast so long ago that the sound was terrible and who has written even more for the site than Tracy (she's also an AfterParty editor and all-around problem solver around here). In this episode, we discuss getting 13th stepped and then being the 13th stepper, drinking Kombucha in sobriety and speaking openly about being in AA, among other topics.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen to it on Soundcloud or Stitcher. Find Tracy Chabala on Twitter and her own site.

Direct download: APP_Tracy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21am PDT

Journalist, author and editor Richard Rushfield is a man of many hats and even more opinions—most of them about relationships. A contributor to Vanity Fair, author of three books and former editor at The LA Times, Gawker, Buzzfeed, Yahoo and more, Rushfield is now the Editor-in-Chief of HitFix.

As AfterPartyPod veers into a direction of focusing not just on recovery from addiction but also on developing healthier relationships, Rushfield came in to school me (and you) on how to both find and then maintain romance. He claims that he comes by this knowledge by having worked on the TV show Blind Date as well as by his friendship with author Robert Greene (author of The Art of Seduction, among many other bestselling books). But the spin he gives is all Rushfield-ian (he is, it's worth mentioning, married to the brilliant and lovely journalist Nicole LaPorte and they have two kids). In this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David discuss ways to seem desirable (ask to borrow someone's phone and then leave them sitting there while you go use it), whether or not we know if we're interested in someone immediately (according to him, yes) and why women need to talk less, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_Rushfield.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:27am PDT

Radio host, actor, TV personality, author and artist Shadoe Stevens possesses one of the most recognizable voices in the world, having hosted American Top 40 from 1988-1995. He was also the announcer on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and has been the voice of numerous award shows, including the Emmy's and the Grammy's. Oh and hey, he also created three top radio stations, including KROQ. Other hits along the way: being a regular on Hollywood Squares and guest starring on Beverly Hills 90210, Baywatch and The Larry Sanders Show, among many others. There's also a spate of children's books and a career as an artist, not to mention a happy marriage and three kids. Though some of the success came early on, Stevens attributes the majority of it to his 30 years of sobriety—an anniversary that was documented last year on Oprah's network. In this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David talk about the people in the bushes that talk to you when you're on coke, the large amygdala all addicts seem to have and believing that every job is the last one before the universe comes in at the last moment and saves the day, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_ShadoeStevens.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:52am PDT

Model, actress and Celebrity Rehab star Amber Smith is far more than just a pretty face (and words can't describe how) spectacular body. Rather than perpetuating the image that seemingly ever model alive does by pretending that her life is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside, Smith took the courageous step of appearing on Celebrity Rehab and showing the entire world that she was a full-blown opiate addict. This, after she'd appeared in the Sport's Illustrated swimsuit issue and on the covers of VogueElleCosmo and Marie Claire as well as in such seminal films as L.A. Confidential and American Beauty.

But there she was on Celebrity Rehab, sharing about and recovering from her 16-year struggle with painkiller abuse, after which she appeared on Sober House and Sex Rehab. Now that she's sober, Smith has dedicated her life to helping others (check out the speakers bureau she's established with previous AfterPartyPod guest Jason Wahler) and developing healthier relationships. In this episode, she and AfterParty's Anna David talk about friendships with controlling women, high school trauma and being taken advantage of as a model, among many other topics.

 

Direct download: AfterPartyPod_Amber_Smith.mp3
Category:Addiction -- posted at: 10:16am PDT